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Bed, Bath & Beyond Shares Surge on Broker Upgrades, CTO Appointment

Digital sales now represent around two-thirds of Bed, Bath & Beyond's total revenues, with Robert J. Baird seeing the potential for a 'meaningful' earnings improvement in the coming years.

Bed, Bath & Beyond  (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report shares jumped higher Thursday after  pair of analysts upgrades and the appointment of a new chief technology officer that cements focus on the home retailer's digital sales effort.

Robert J. Baird analyst Peter Benedict lifted his price target on Bed, Bath & Beyond by $7, to $20 a share, and boosted his rating from 'neutral' to 'outperform', citing stabilizing sales and a "potentially material" earnings improvement over the next three years. Raymond James analysts' also raised their price target by $4 to $12 per share.

Also Thursday, Bed, Bath & Beyond named Scott Lindblom as chief technology officer to support what the company called its "digital-first, omni-always customer experience."

"We are leading an operational and technological transformation to build a more efficient organization and best-in-class omni-always experience for our loyal customers," said COO John Hartmann. "Scott's track record implementing leading IT solutions and digital fulfillment capabilities for a number of leading retailers will help us accelerate the modernization of our technology infrastructure and capabilities, to rebuild our authority in our core markets and deepen connections and loyalty with our customers." 

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Bed, Bath & Beyond shares were marked 7.8% higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $14.38 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 140%.

Bed, Bath & Beyond's fiscal first quarter loss, for the the three months ending on June 1, narrowed to $302.2 million thanks in part to a cost-cutting and store closure plan that ultimately places more emphasis on online sales during the extended coronavirus pandemic.

Net sales through the group's digital channels rose 82% from the prior year, Bed, Bath & Beyond said, and now represent around two-thirds of the group's overall revenues.